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Middle East: The Role of Women in Conflict & Post Conflict Resolution

Workshop report on the event 'Middle East: the Role of Women in Conflict and Post Conflict Resolution'. The event brought together regional experts from the Middle East with academics and NATO policy makers.

Middle East - Socio Economic, Women Peace & Security - Format: PDF - Size: 679.02 KB - Date: Sep, 2022 - Pages: - Copyright: NATO Strategic Direction South HUB - Tags: Gender

The workshop 'Middle East: the Role of Women in Conflict and Post Conflict Resolution' brought together regional experts from the Middle East with academics and NATO policy makers. The event was part of NATO's continued approach to the Women, Peace and Security agenda and aimed to raise awareness, strengthen ties with regional actors in the Middle East and identify potential areas for future cooperation.


Women are uniquely affected by conflicts, but they are also unique and important contributors to confliction resolution and peacebuilding processes. In the Middle East (ME), women’s organizations contribute to stability and security and more opportunities are required for their participation at formal negotiation processes.

The paper investigates how and why women in the ME region should be empowered and aims to improve the understanding of the nexus between women and security in the ME region, assessing both the risks and the opportunities stemming from their circumstances and activities, thereby contributing to NATO’s situational awareness in this area.

Research questions

  1. How have women been affected by conflict in the region?
  2. What roles can women have to mitigate and prevent conflict?
  3. How can women strengthen security in the ME in the medium-term?
  4. How vulnerable are women in refugee camps and how does this impact security?
  5. Do regional refugee camps influence the spreading of DAESH ideology, and how can this be addressed?

Key insights

  • Women should be involved in peacemaking to the same extent as men.
  • More investment in and attention should be paid to women’s organizations in the ME, which are leading Track 2 dialogues at a grassroots level and are empowering women and communities to contribute to their own stability and security.
  • A multi-track approach to peacebuilding should be facilitated.
  • Women and girl’s vulnerabilities can be exploited during conflict as a tactic of war and the repercussions often become contributors of prolonged instability in its aftermath.
  • Women are war-makers and peacemakers alike and are often targeted by extremists as entry points for the radicalization of entire families

Key recommendations

  • Collect data and other socio-economic factors disaggregated by sex as part of a concerted effort to broaden and enhance situational awareness on human dynamics.
  • In line with the NATO WPS Policy (2018) and Action Plan (2021-2025), NATO could engage in efforts to enhance understanding and recognition, within NATO and among NATO Allies and partners, of women as strategic partners in peace mediation, peacebuilding and in post-conflict reconstruction in the ME.
  • Increase additional awareness of the positive role of women in the context of global security concerns, including in relation to counter-terrorism, food security, resilience, human security and climate change.
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